December 8, 2022

The Department of Agriculture’s Philippine Rural Development Project (DA-PRDP) has switched on the green light to award the contract for the second segment of the improvement of Besao-Nacawang (segment 1) and Tadian-Mabalite (segment 2) farm-to-market road in Mountain Province. 

The 4.154-kilometer Tadian-Mabalite road section, which costs P91.857 million, is connected to the 8.940-km Besao-Nacawang road section, which is now nearing completion.

The road section will benefit seven barangays of Tadian, namely Mabalite, Batayan, Bantey, Sumadel, Masla, Duagan, and Lubon.

The Tadian-Mabalite road section was previously approved, but the DA-PRDP and the Mountain Province local government decided to terminate and repackage the subproject.

“This was one of the first road projects that we had and during the first bidding, there were variations in the cost estimates,” said DA Regional Technical Director Jennilyn M. Dawayan, who is also the procurement head of the PRDP Regional Project Coordination Office-Cordillera (RPCO-CAR).

In repackaging the proposal, several changes were made, including shortening of road length from 11.77 to 4.154 km., widening of road width from four to five meters, revision of cost estimates, and the economic and financial analysis.

Rigi May B. Copatan, social and environmental safeguards officer of the RPCO-CAR, said validation activities and a series of consultation with beneficiaries and project affected persons were conducted with regards the repackaging of the subproject.

“It is important consultations are conducted with the beneficiaries, the primary users of the road, for them to be informed of the changes in the design and specifications of the subproject,” she said.

Dawayan said concerned personnel of DA-PRDP and the local government used existing digital modalities to cope with the distance and the travel restrictions in this time of pandemic.

With the approval of the second segment, construction works are expected to start soon.

After completion of the road section, farmers and residents in Besao and Tadian will have easier access to the neighboring towns and markets within and outside the province.

“Better market opportunities will be available to the farmers and residents within the area, as well as the delivery of agricultural inputs and the marketing of their produce especially coffee and heirloom rice,” Dawayan said.

The FMR subproject will likewise complement the operations of the Mountain Province Arabica Coffee Enterprise, which is also implemented under the DA-PRDP. – Elvy Taquio Estacio